11:54pm: The team has sent out a press release confirming the deal.
"Jrue is both an outstanding player and an important part of our future," owner Josh Harris said. "We are very excited to keep a player of Jrue's caliber in Philadelphia and truly look forward to further building the 76ers legacy around his leadership."
11:13pm: The Sixers and Jrue Holiday have agreed to an extension, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Stein reports the deal is worth four years and $41MM, but Sam Amick of USA Today hears that incentives could bring the deal to $46MM (Twitter links).The extension appeared to be a 50-50 proposition earlier today, when Holiday was reportedly seeking $12-13MM annually, so it appears the team got him to make some concessions.
The deal was reached with seven minutes to spare before the 11pm Central deadline for rookie-scale extensions, tweets TNT's David Aldridge. It comes on the heels of extensions for fellow point guards Ty Lawson and Stephen Curry, and his could be the least lucrative of the three depending on whether he reaches the incentives. The Sixers will likely have about $45.5MM on the books for 2013/14, meaning a new max deal for Andrew Bynum would put them over the cap at about $63.5MM, giving them fairly limited flexibility next summer.
Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors predicted an offer worth $40MM over four years back in August, but said he wouldn't have been surprised if Holiday declined that offer and played out the season to show off for suitors in restricted free agency. The 22-year-old UCLA product saw his numbers decline virtually across the board last season, including a dip from 6.5 assists per game to 4.5 in less than two fewer minutes per contest. Still, his scoring per 36 minutes has increased with each season in the league, just as his turnovers per 36 minutes have gone down.
11:43pm: The Bulls officially announced the extension in a press release.
"I’m very happy that I’m going to remain a Bull for the long haul," Gibson said. "The Bulls are like my second family and I’m excited to know that I’m going to continue to wear 'Bulls' across my chest."
11:19pm: The base pay comes to $32MM, but incentives could make the deal worth $38MM, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.
10:52pm: Gibson said the money in the offer from the Bulls didn't change tonight, but contract language did, reports Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times.
10:39pm: Sam Amick of SI.com tweets that agent Mark Bartelstein says the incentives would only bring the deal up to $38MM, which was initially believed to be Gibson's base pay.
10:28pm: There are incentives in the extension that could bring it up to $40MM, the amount Gibson was asking for earlier tonight, Johnson tweets.
10:12pm: Taj Gibson and the Bulls have agreed to an extension, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reports (Twitter link). The deal is for four years and $38MM, tweets Aggrey Sam of CSNChicago.com. The two sides bridged a reported $8MM gap, as Gibson was seeking $40MM while the team offered $32MM. He told Johnson before Chicago's win over the Kings tonight that he didn't think he'd change his mind an accept the team's offer, but evidently the Bulls upped the ante enough for his liking.
Assuming a $9.5MM salary for Gibson next year, the Bulls appear set up to be a luxury tax team again in 2013/14. They have about $74MM on the books for next year, a number they can knock down to $70MM if they waive Richard Hamilton, whose $5MM deal is only guaranteed for $1MM. The decision to extend Gibson's contract seemingly puts fellow power forward Carlos Boozer at greater risk of being waived via the amnesty clause next summer, since he's due $15.3MM in 2013/14 and $16.8MM the year after that.
Gibson has never averaged more than the 9.0 points per game he put up as a rookie in 2009/10, and has seen his minutes decrease in each of his three seasons. He's expected to take on a larger role this year as the lone remaining member of a well-regarded second unit that helped the Bulls to the league's best regular season record two years in a row. Though he scored only 7.7 PPG last season, his per-36-minutes point production was a career-high 13.6, and his PER has steadily climbed over his time in the league, reaching 16.9 last season.
11:09pm: The Raptors confirmed the extension in a press release.
"DeMar has worked very hard and has been a significant part of the building process here in Toronto," team president Bryan Colangelo said. "We view DeMar as a young, athletic and talented basketball player whose character fits what we are putting together."
8:11pm: Michael Grange of Rogers Sportsnet confirms via Twitter that the base pay in the deal is $38MM (hat tip to John Hollinger of ESPN.com).
6:30pm: Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun hears the deal is actually for four years and $38MM (Twitter link). He's likely referring to the base pay and not the amount DeRozan could earn with the incentives, but that's just my speculation.
5:41pm: The Raptors and DeMar DeRozan have agreed to a four-year $40MM extension with incentives that could bring the value to as much as $42MM, reports Sam Amick of SI.com (Twitter link). Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported moments earlier that the two sides were close to a deal (Twitter link). After early indications today that a deal would not get done, there seemed to be a change of heart, presumably by the Raptors, who were reportedly already focused on what they wanted to see from DeRozan this season in advance of restricted free agency next summer. Instead, it appears they'll have the fourth-year swingman already locked up.
Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun, who heard earlier today that an offer in the neighborhood of $34MM could get a deal done, quickly criticized the team's decision via Twitter, and Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times followed (Twitter link). Last year, DeRozan put up 16.7 PPG and 3.3 RPG on 42.2% shooting with a 12.8 PER, all numbers that declined from 2010/11.
The move means roughly $52MM in cap space is tied up for next season, assuming Linas Kleiza and Aaron Gray pick up their player options. That puts the Raptors out of the running for a max free agent they would have been able to afford if they passed on DeRozan.
The reaction to the Raptors' decision to grant DeMar DeRozan an incentive-laden four-year extension worth at least $38MM met with immediate criticism this evening, as it seemed the Raptors had overpaid. Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun, one of those initial critics, wonders about the timing of the commitment, but notes that the team made a similar move when they extended Andrea Bargnani, and he's turned out to be a bargain. Still, he believes both players are too inefficient to cover for their flaws (Twitter link). As we wait for more news as the extension deadline draws near, here's the latest from around the Atlantic Division.
The Warriors caught many observers off guard when they decided to extend Stephen Curry's contract for four years and $44MM today, not long after the guard suffered yet another ankle injury in the preseason. Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld reported earlier that the team never had any inclination to part ways with Curry, whether they reached an extension agreement or not, and he speculates that the Warriors were motivated by the notion that Curry's hometown Bobcats could make a lucrative offer to him as a restricted free agent next summer (Twitter link). GM Bob Myers explained his decision to reporters, including Brett Pollakoff of ProBasketballTalk.com.
On the role Curry's health played in the decision:
"It’s a big belief in his health; you can bet against it or you can bet on it, and we decided to bet on it. We looked at all the information, we watched him play in the preseason, we watched him practice the last four or five days. I’m well-acquainted with his surgeon, I’ve known him for probably 10 years. With all the information we had, we felt like it was a prudent decision — not knowing what he would have commanded (on the free agent market), and that was certainly part of the process, as in, what would he have gotten if he would have played out this season? And even in some respects, whether he was healthy or not. We’ve seen some players in free agency get some pretty big numbers."
On the consequences of not extending Curry:
He could become a restricted free agent, and get offered a contract of similar or higher value. He could become a restricted free agent, and we’d choose to go in another direction. We’d have to replace the position, and that’s a hard thing to do with what amount of money we would have had. If you look at it on a global level, our options, it wasn’t like if we didn’t do this we’d have the max space to go out and get another guy. We’re thrilled we got the deal done, because we really like him. We really believe in him, and what this does is give us cost certainty in a league that is very uncertain.”
On the pitfalls of restricted free agency:
“The thing to understand about restricted free agency is, when a player enters restricted free agency and receives an offer sheet — and we’ll never know, thankfully, whether (Curry) would have or wouldn’t have — but when a team makes an offer, they have to pay a premium,” Myers said. “They pay beyond market value, and the reason being is, they have to set a bar they think that the team with the right to match won’t commit to. So even if you value a player at $12MM, you’re not going to offer 12 — you’re going to offer 13 or 14. And you saw that in restricted free agency. So to protect against that, to commit to a player we really like for this organization, we made the deal we did and we’re happy with it.”
This year's deadline for extension-eligible fourth-year players to sign new deals is just hours away, arriving at 11:00pm CT today. Blake Griffin, Serge Ibaka, and Ty Lawson came into the day as the only players with new contracts, while Stephen Curry reached an unexpected agreement with the Warriors this morning and James Harden agreed to a maximum deal with the Rockets this afternoon. Will we see any other extensions signed before the night is out? We'll track today's extension-related rumors and rumblings right here:
With the Nuggets doling out a four-year, $48MM extension to Ty Lawson and the Thunder ruling out a deal with Eric Maynor, the rookie-scale extension drama is over for Northwest Division teams. Instead, the division's executives are focusing on other methods of building their teams as the season begins, and a couple of them have weighed in with reporters. Bill Oram of The Salt Lake Tribune shares insight from Kevin O'Connor, executive vice president of basketball operations for the Jazz, while Timberwolves GM David Kahn sat down with Ray Richardson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Both pieces are worth a full read, but we'll break down the highlights here.
With the D-League draft two days away and several training camp invitees out on the open market after cuts this week, there's plenty of player movement going on outside the NBA. We'll round up the latest here.
6:41pm: The team officially announced the move in a press release.
10:27am: The Thunder have re-signed Orton to the NBA roster after he joined the D-League's Tulsa 66ers, according to the Oklahoman.
9:15am: Having waived him just a few days ago, the Thunder are expected to bring back Daniel Orton, according to ESPN.com's Marc Stein (Twitter link). Oklahoma City released Orton, along with Andy Rautins and Hollis Thompson, prior to sending four players to Houston in exchange for Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamb, which opened up a pair of roster spots.
When Orton was released by the Thunder on Saturday, Royce Young of DailyThunder.com wrote that the team was expected to retain the rights to the Oklahoma City native for its D-League affiliate. Assuming Orton officially re-signs with the Thunder, the club could still send him to the Tulsa 66ers, where he'd receive more playing time and a chance to develop.
If and when Orton's deal becomes finalized, Oklahoma City will have one open roster spot left, with 14 players under contract. Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman (Twitter link) doesn't expect the Thunder to fill that spot, given the flexibility it adds, not to mention how close to the tax threshold the team is.
6:08pm: The team has officially announced the signing via press release.
"James Harden is the foundational-type player we have been looking to add," owner Leslie Alexander said. "He is a tremendous, young player with the ability and skill set to be an All-Star. He is ready to make the next move up to join the elite players in the NBA. As I said when we traded for James, he along with the mix of young players we already have in place, such as Jeremy Lin, Chandler Parsons and Omer Asik, gives us a solid group of young, talented players who will help get us back to a championship level."
2:10pm: James Harden has agreed to a five-year contract extension with the Rockets, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). Wojnarowski initially pegs the value of the extension at $80MM, though he adds in a second tweet that it's a maximum-salary deal, meaning the exact figures aren't yet set in stone.
Harden was, of course, acquired by the Rockets over the weekend, at which point it was reported that the two sides would reach an agreement on a five-year, maximum-salary contract. The Thunder, having already designated Russell Westbrook as their franchise player, could only offer Harden a four-year extension, and were said to be offering less than the maximum salary -- something in the neighborhood of $53MM for four years.
With Harden under contract through 2018, the Rockets figure to build around a core that includes Jeremy Lin, Omer Asik, and the reigning Sixth Man of the Year. Those three players' salaries will amount to a cap hit of more than $30MM in 2013/14. However, the rest of the Rockets' team salary will be made up of rookie contracts or non-guaranteed deals, which should give them the cap space to be a major player in free agency.
As for Harden's new deal, the exact amount of the 2013/14 maximum salary for a player with his experience isn't yet known, but it will likely increase at least a little. Westbrook's five-year, max-salary extension, which uses 2012/13's figures, will pay him about $78.6MM, so Harden's deal is expected to exceed that.